SMU dance major on Meadows School of the Arts’ dance showcase “Celebrating Women’s Voices”

For the first time ever, Meadows School of the Arts will be hosting an entire performance choreographed by only women titled “Celebrating Women’s Voices,” Oct. 24-28 in Bob Hope Theatre.

SMU dance major, Rachel Bailey, took some time after her late-night rehearsal to explain what this performance means.

“[‘Celebrating Women’s Voices’] is the dance division’s Fall Hope Show,” Bailey said. The Fall Hope Show is an annual performance the division presents.

“We bring in professional choreographers and one piece is done by an in-house faculty member,” Bailey said.

With some rehearsals lasting until 10 p.m., preparing for this performance has resulted in some very late nights.

“We typically have two weeks in the beginning of the year with rehearsals every night from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Then they get a little more spread out,” Bailey said.

Three contemporary pieces make up the show. The choreographers include Bridget L. Moore, Cherylyn Lavagnino and Brandi Coleman.

“I am a dancer in Brandi Coleman’s piece [titled] And One More Thing,” Bailey said.

The piece represents “strength, resilience and unwillingness to comprise,” Meadows School of the Arts website says.

“And One More Thing” is choreographed in Jump Rhythm® Technique which is described as “a rhythm-generated, vocally supported approach to movement that focuses on percussive energy as a means of expressive dancing,” on the Meadows website.

“I also performed this piece with Brandi and three other undergraduate students this summer in Minneapolis,” Bailey said.

The piece was performed at a show called “Rhythmically Speaking,” the mission of which is to engage people in “staged works inspired by jazz and American social dance forms,” as said on their website.

Coleman submitted the choreography to the show where she was “the only national applicant chosen, everyone else was local,” Bailey said. Coleman joined the students on stage for the Summer performance.

Coleman is an Artist-in-Resident in jazz dance at SMU. She is the “associate artistic director of Jump Rhythm® Jazz Project, an Emmy Award-winning performing and teaching company that celebrates the communal core of jazz performance,” as written on the Meadows School of the Arts website.

Bailey says, “Celebrating Women’s Voices,” stands out for one reason: “All three choreographers are women, which is rare in the dance community.”